Monday, July 1, 2013

Victor Harbour

It was a last minute decision to spend couple days in Victor Harbour to celebrate my birthday. Victor is located 80km south of Adelaide and is one of South Australia's favourite holiday destinations only around 1.5 hours drive from the City. We left just after I finished working and arrived at the Smugglers Inn where we had booked, which turned out to be quite a cozy two bedroom apartment.

There are many tourist attractions in Victor Harbour, but since this was my second time here and we only had the weekend, we planned to do some whale watching, go on the penguin tour and generally take a look around the town. 

We had lunch at Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot. We bought a pie and a pastry from the local bakery and sat in the car looking out over the beach. I didn't want to sit outside, not only because it was a bit cold, but also because the seagulls are always looking for a free these guys. 


When we had a cuppa at the local coffee shop, we got some info about the best place to see the whales from the locals. There had been 3 whales sighted earlier in the day off of Brasham beach, only a 10 minutes drive away. We thought it was worth to try to have a look that evening, but didn't have any luck. So after taking some pictures, we went back as we had to be on Granite Island by 5.30pm for penguin tour.   

Usually, we can take the Horse Drawn Tram over to Granite Island, however the last tram was at 3.30pm, so we walked the 1km across the wooden bridge to the Penguin Centre. It was quite a long walk in the cold weather, but the views was amazing. 

While waiting for the penguin tour to start, we looked around the Penguin Centre that was set up to educate visitors and just as importantly, look after sick and injured penguins. Penguins on Granite Island are the smallest species known as fairy, or little penguins. They are only around 30cm high and weight about 1.2kg. The little penguins are the only penguins to breed in Australia. Since, we can't use the camera's flash, because it will harm the penguins eyes, we had to use do the best we could would the available light and make use of computer programs to enhance the shots we had taken.

During the tour, we only saw 2 of the 27 penguins that now inhabit the island. It was so sad to hear how the penguin population has fallen from around 2,400 in 2000 to the current level all because of a group of New Zealand fur seals that now inhabit a neighbouring island. The saddest thing of all is that these seals kill for fun as the penguins have too many feathers to be a food source. 

On Sunday, we woke up early to go back to Basham Beach in the hope of seeing a whale. We weren't disappointed. From the viewing platform, we saw what at first we thought was a log, or something floating just off shore.  This turned out to be a whale calf that was later joined by it parents that we'd seen breaching off of Middleton beach, just a few hundred metres away. It was too bad I didn't bring the binoculars so I didn't get a clearer view. The picture below is not my picture, but what I saw this morning was something like this, but a bit further away. (

We spent the rest of morning on the scenic drive, the views were really beautiful. 

Well, it was a short holiday but it really was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday. Thanks to my darling husband...I love you.